Death Penalty for Horse Poisoning, Daily Racing Form, 1915-10-06


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DEATH PENALTY FOR HORSE POISONING. In the First Spring Meeting at Newmarket in MM several race horses in Stevens stables were poisoned by -arsenic being pur in the trough at which they were watered. A reward of 1 H» guineas was im-nicriiately offered for the discovery of the offenders, who. however, succeeded for that time in eluding the pursuit f justice: but in 1S11. eiuljoldeued by their success they again perpetrated a similar offence. At the OHiinicucoUieiit of the First Spring Meeting at Newmarket in 1*11 Spaniard. Ierouctte. The liaudy and Sir F. Standishs Kagle colt died from arsenic poisoning. Two other horses. Reveller and Calebs, recovered. This atrocious act created general indignation, and a reward of SOU guineas was immediately offered by the Jockey Club for the dis-covet-y of the guilty party. On August l."i in tlie same year. Daniel Dawson. a notorious "Muter." was apprehended at ltrighton and committed by M. Coiiant. the magistrate of Marlborough street to Cambridge Oaol. a true bill having been found again-t him by the Graud Jnry for poisoning horses at the Newmarket Spring Meeting ..f MM. At the ensuing Cambridge Assizes Dawson was tried for this offence. Mr. Sclgcant Sc.lon being the counsel for the prosecution . The. learned Sergeant dwelt much on llie enormity of the offence with which tlie prisoner stood charged. lie said this was not an offence recognized at common law. but was fouuded ii the statute of the Ninth George I.. C. 22. which was enacted for the purpose of punishing person- maliciously wounding, maiming and kill-in- cattle. He was well aware that the mere killing would not support this indictment without an object attached t- it. The statute upon which this indictment was founded did not speeify further than unlawfully and maliciously killing animals, but the motives which prompted the killing ami maiming were to be considered. If it le proved that the horse the subject of this indictment was kiiled by iioison. then it would lie necessary also malice. If kill or pre-existing a man to prove maim an animal in the moment of anger the offence would not lie recognized by this statute, as revenge «.r malice to the animal alone would not be sufficient without au object. The malice must be against the owner, and it was not sufficient to apply direct malice against the owner even. but. as in this case, the law implied malice when the animal was killed for an object of gain or reward. Though the offender had never seen the owner, the case for the prosecution rested on tlie evidence of Cecil Bishop who had liecn apprehended with Dawson, and was now admitted evidence for the Crown. This man. w|io had be« n brought up to the trade of a chemist and druggist, deposed That at the iu--ti-atiou of Dawson he had prepared a strong solution of arscui which he had injected by means of m crooked svringc into the watering 1 roughs on Newmarket Heath, bv which means the horses mentioned in the nrescnt indictment were poisoned: he demised moreover, that lie had been tempt-d iuto tl, s crime in the expectation of receiving a -hare or ihe gains which were to be realized by a con-federate of the name of Trist. who was to bet heav-ilvantast th ■ horses thus made safe. 1 pen the ,o„elusion of the evidence for the prosecution. Mr. Kb,- the counsel for the prisoner, took an objection indictment, which charged the prisoner with to" the ■. "principal- iu the alleged act of poisoning, wen in point of fact, he wa- an "accessory before ih fa -1 " On these grounds the judge immediately acquittal, l.ut refused to accept bail for .iir-ctedhis tie i.rtoucr which was tendered immediately on t crncluslon of the trial. Dawson was ac-ordingly u Cambridge gaol, to take hi* trial at back to se,t autSn-T assises on another indictment. . barging the ,„ wltuTrtiHoniug two broo.mar.-s. the property of v Northev. and ■ hack belonging to Mr. Adams. Newmarket in 1S0ft. His trial on . t-o stoi. ar this VudlTuient took Place at the assizes in July. 1S.1- l.. fore Mr. Justice Heath. tT- S-Jer was •» indicted under the Act ftlh ri.e l»riaoiieiv frfuuhMisly. wilfully, and ina Hhl Z*~ fcrroalnc white arsenic into a watering » -rT i"b rat Newmarket on July 10. 1809. and thereby T..I..V .■•rtain horses and hroodmaros. etc. -vi riull.h»rr« "aid in the indictment having been , "£ ."."learlv as circumstantial evident would rJ22f. "fir KiM. ?«r the prisoner, contended that IHMJJ..MT- SFStot of law. had hee.j committed ?«j£? m constitute a felory. No malice had been e22ffs-S2?t«* owner, inasmuch as Bishops evi- Z .th?s acAlmplicc having heard as evi Sf tT..... did not state that there whs Mr th. /nr ..,, V, the extent of killing the amma! tX ta» Ildp Uvveve!. though, ,.. the ,,,: a. andoii™*r£, or guiD,, s..n. tence of death was pronounced, and Dawson was executed at Cambridge on August 8. 1812, and. although he confessed his guilt, did not mention his having had any accomplice in the crime, as had been generally siipimsed. , , The criminal was prosecuted hy the Jockey Club at an expense of . ■** ■ This trial clearly established the fact that, by the ■Batata of the Ninth George L. C. 22. the offense of poisoning or maiming race horses so as to gain monev bv incapacitating them from running a race-was made a capital felony, and punishable accordingly.

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